Looking at the work of Francis Schanberger is like diving into the secrets of the universe. How is it that he can show us something from the natural world that we can see everyday, and yet make us see it with new eyes? The first time I saw this photograph of an apple, I actually thought that he had artificially created some kind of galaxy or star image. It wasn’t until my second look that I realized that what I was really seeing was simply an apple. That perhaps doesn’t come across online, but in real life, this Van Dyke almost pulses with depth and life.
Francis is a master of hand-applied emulsions and shares his techniques and methods on his blog. Anyone interested in alternative photographic processes would gain a lot by checking out his work.
Caleb Charland is a photographer whose images inspire awe and wonder, particularly when you realize that all of his images are multiple exposures shot on film and then printed straight. Photoshop is not used in the creation of these puppies, which makes them even more amazing.
In an excerpt from an interview, he explains his process: “Silhouette With Matches (see left) was a simple process of multiple exposure. I shoot all my work with a view camera on 4×5 film. Basically, I took one exposure during the day for the background, then one at night while lighting and tossing the matches. This process left the outline of my body without the use of Photoshop.”
Charland’s pictures are magical, taking me back to a time when I would make science fair projects in elementary school. Most of the time, I didn’t really care if the project worked out, I just wanted to play with the stuff I was using to make the project with. Most often, that “stuff” had to do with matches and flashlights and things that moved through space.
But they are also metaphorical, such as Footprints with Matches (see below). This image implies as much as it tells, and leaves this viewer thinking about how much damage mankind has left behind in its frenzy to build and develop the land. Technically brilliant, visually arresting, and wonderfully thought-provoking, Caleb Charland is a photographer to watch.
I’ve always been interested in the connection between art and science. I sometimes wonder if they aren’t really one and the same, just different ways to understanding this universe we inhabit.
The photographs of Niko Luoma refer to math, geometry, light (i.e. physics), and end up creating a magical universe that exists only on the photographic paper he prints on. He works with traditional analog photographic materials, making hundreds of exposures on one negative. The control he has over his materials is amazing.
He says about his work: “My material is light. The work focuses on energy rather than matter. My work is about the process as much as about the result. …Working only with light and light sensitive materials, I am fascinated by the fact that this process leaves nothing behind- no debris, no ruin- just an exposed negative.”
Here’s my favorite image of his to date: